KSP published another review about me, this time in the May edition of their newsletter.
Thanks for the kind words Rosanne!
Literary dinner with Jeremy Balius
By Rosanne Dingli
It was a brilliant night of warm company, delicious food, and thought-provoking entertainment. Let me tell you about it.
It’s not easy to wean oneself off the computer screen to face the real world. A literary dinner seemed the best way to link back to something concrete: real people, real food, a real location. It felt scary making the booking. Online social interaction is so much easier – it doesn’t matter what you wear, for a start. But look – my shiny top still fitted. I hadn’t driven through Midland for something like 8 years, and yes, they were STILL digging up the intersection with the highway.
I can’t say it was like I had never been away – lots of changes occurred since I worked at KSP. The first I noticed was the office – what a miraculous transformation from the old shed where we’d hide the keys under a pot of rat poison! The library was another transformation that blew me right away. So beautiful and conducive to a nice long read… but I had dinner to eat and people to meet.
Jeremy Balius is a star: there is no other word for this youthful extremely talented writer. His abilities are legion, his eclectic forays into different genres quite illuminating, his style indicative of a more than just adequate understanding of history and literature. He read in between courses from published and more recent work, leaving the intimate audience desiring to know the origins of such intricate language.
I thought the days of having fun with words were over. I thought prose poems were dead. I thought this vast, cruel, pragmatic world had shrunk everything to 140- character meaninglessness. Not so. I was so very happy to sit back, between delicious soup and wonderful curry, and listen to Jeremy Balius read from his “Wherein? He asks of Memory”, which was a surprise, to say the least. Dense, dense, dense with all the lovely, juicy words I had missed for so long. Did he really say ekphrastic? It was magical to listen to a sculpture quiz a mountain.
There was ample opportunity to quiz the Writer-in-Residence at KSP about his writing, background, accent, and a number of other important aspects. It turns out Jeremy Balius has taken up residence in Fremantle. His fascination with the place is causing him to delve into its history, and his sojourns in Germany and his native USA are informing the way he delves. He understands Fremantle, without a doubt. But the way he writes about the port town is going to make us all look at it again, and see it differently. We might see Balius’s words next time we look at a crane.
Between curry and dessert – let me tell you, homemade chocolate cake, cream and ice cream – Jeremy read from the manuscript of his WIP: a novel which the
residency is allowing him to write in comparative ease and comfort.
I was surprised again. A literary novel, with striking words once more taking centre stage. Did he really say abecedarian? Yes, and loudly and clearly, too. A writer’s delivery, I find, is often indicative of the breadth of their potential, and what I heard that Tuesday night was wide. High. Deep.
Rosanne Dingli’s most recent novel is Camera Obscura. Available wherever good books are sold online, in paperback and eBook. http://www.rosannedingli.com